I cannot get over how much I love, love, love Laos. It has far surpassed any expectations I had. It is so beautiful here, I feel like I am in a dream or a book.
In Peyton’s words,
“Mama, Laos has moved up to 3rd place of my favorite places in the world, after Disneyland and Texas. It is so beautiful and green here and the people are so nice and the river is always flowing”
We are in Vang Vieng, Laos. It is known as a backpacker town, so we knew we would love it. We love to be in nature and explore all day, but when we come back at the end of the day we just want a cold coke and a pizza. Everything you need is at the little markets, and there is tons of Laos, Thai, Irish, Aussie, and American food, it is all sooo cheap since all of the backpackers have no money-hehe.
We rented motorbikes so we could explore the Laos countryside. The town is very small, you could walk the whole thing in just a few minutes. Right out of town is the most amazing scenery and local life we have seen yet on our travels, so we wanted to be able to see it all.
I did not think too much about getting a motorbike, i think I was imagining a cute little moped, that I would cruise around while I waved at everyone. When we got to the Laos shop to rent one I was almost in tears. The only thing they rent is motorbikes, like the things in America you have to have hours of practice time and a special license for.
I sat there on the curb forever, thinking about dying, wrecking, scraping my legs up, smashing my head, throwing one of my sons off, hitting a truck, driving into a barb wire fence and on and on. I was petrified. We had already paid the guy for 2 motorbike rentals for the week and if I have learned one thing about travelling in 3rd world countries-there are no refunds.
I thought about how much fun our stay would be if we had them and how much fun the boys would have, so I decided to try it. Thankfully the town is very sleepy and even the locals drive at an easy speed. I sputtered onto the road and drove around town at a snails pace. It was super scary and I was deciding if I wanted one of the boys to ride with me or not. Then I looked around at my fellow moterbikers…there was a 10 year old girl driving one, a man with his 3 little children and his wife on the back, an old grandma with a bag of rice under one arm and her chicken, and a young mom with a little baby in her lap zipping around while holding an umbrella. I had a good laugh and told myself to buck up.
In the end it was the best choice, I have loved driving around Laos on a motorbike. Peyton rides on the back with his little arms wrapped around my waist and we just talk and talk and explore. It is really special. (even though he told me that he could walk faster than I drive-hehe)
our guesthouse balcony
In the 2 days we have been in Vang Vieng I have taken over 400 photos. We have done so much already, there is so much beauty and the people are so kind. It is also fun because the “tourists” here are backpackers from all over the world so they are an exploration of other countries in and of themselves. I am pretty sure we are the only family tourists in town, us and the backpackers. We fit in great, they are loud and don’t wear shirts or shoes, so the boys can do the same!